Need a very extended font
July 24, 2009 2:40 AM   Subscribe

Commonplace academic book fonts that have ascii slots mapped out for "dot-under" consonants?

I need to set up an InDesign project for a book. THe author has Word files that use "Times". On my PC (running XP) his extended characters (many of them being consonants with dots under, like so many of the sanskritic examples) do not show. THey will show if I re-font to Times Extended Roman. But the book must be in a nice academic serif like Minion, Baskerville, Caslon, Goudy, or perhaps Palatino. I have experimented, and I don't see those characters in the glyph list for those fonts. (Unless I have missed something.) Any help about a nice looking serif font, that reacts well in InDesign typesetting, and is like these fonts just mentioned (classic, sharp, etc) will be appreciated. Also... it must be somehow available and able to be distilled by Acrobat.
posted by yazi to Technology (10 answers total)
Take a look at IPA fonts, e.g., Doulos.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:46 AM on July 24, 2009

Perhaps one of the URW Palladio variants described here?
posted by misteraitch at 4:25 AM on July 24, 2009

Doulos lacks bold and italic, which you'll probably want. If you decide to use one of theirs, Charis is the one SIL recommends for publication.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:02 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Gentium and Junicode spring to mind (both serif fonts).

If you want to do more searching, you might try the term "pan-Unicode".
posted by timepiece at 11:27 AM on July 24, 2009

Thanks Blazecock Pileon, Nebulawindphone, esp.
I've used the Doulos, and wanted something a bit more lovely, but also, it does not have ital, neither does Palladio. Charis is very beautiful, but no dots under consonants. Too bad.
My fallback position to use Times Extended (which I suppose I can make look a bit elegant by breathing it out a bit with tracking), still remains.

Thanks folks, I'll still look.... maybe examine further the other IPAs.

Anyone know how compositors for the univ. presses deal with it, when they get author-keyed files in a generic Times font, showing the dot-unders (and such)? How do they get a smooth transfer into their Minion (e.g.), or do they have to do like I have done in the past and just global change all "dot-under-t" in the author's Times into let's say, "percent sign" and then just re-change when in Minion, resulting in words wherein one character (that dot-under-t) is in Times Extended ???? Not too bad on the eye? But I'd rather have a Minion-grade font with that dot-under-t. Pls comment back by personal:
posted by yazi at 6:16 PM on July 24, 2009

Hmmmm I put my email address in at the end, but I guess Meta thinks that is not nice and takes it out.

Check my profile and find it and email me if you have thoughts.
posted by yazi at 6:26 PM on July 24, 2009

That's odd. Charis does indeed have underdotted characters: here's a sample — you get d-underdot, s-underdot, l-underdot, m-underdot, n-underdot, r-underdot and r-macron-underdot, which IIRC is all you need to do Sanskrit right. (Am I missing some?)

This makes me suspect that you've got a character encoding problem. As you may know, there are a lot of different ways to represent non-ASCII characters. Most modern fonts, Charis included, are set up for the Unicode encoding. If your collaborator is using a non-Unicode encoding, you'll have trouble getting everything to display right.

If that's what's going on, then it's a totally fixable problem.

I've got two questions:
  1. When you say the underdotted characters aren't showing up in Charis, what do you mean? Instead of t-underdot, say, do you get a plain t? A box or a squiggle? A t with a dot afterwards? Some totally irrelevant character?
  2. Would you be willing to send me a snippet of the Word document you're working with — a page or even a paragraph containing some of the characters that aren't displaying right for you?

posted by nebulawindphone at 8:05 AM on July 26, 2009

Many thanks Nebulawindphone. I got yhour mefi mail and have now just seen your answer on the thread. I did not make myself clear. Sorry: in fact I was judging Charis based on the PDF about the font available on the website. I viewed the chars. there, and saw no dot-under consonants. I did not install the font and work with it.

I would be willing to show you the author's Word file sample. But here's the problem: I can get all the dot-unders to show when I re-font author's doc into Times Extended. But the latter is not pretty. I want to load author's files into InD and then font the whole thing in a beautiful font, and have all the dot-unders automatically show up. Now this involves how the characters are mapped, right? So if the beautiful Charis has all those dot-unders, I may use it for this project even I have to do global changes. However, if it shows the dot-unders from the author's Word file automatically that would be a HUGER PLUS.
posted by yazi at 9:23 AM on July 26, 2009

MISTAKEN AGAIN. Sorry. The font I thought was beautiful was Gentium, which does not have the sanskritic consonants. I think Charis looks a bit disorderly and big, too much like Bookman. So I'm back to square one. Am I right in assuming that the pro packages of Bask, Min, Goudy, Caslon, Pal, are all w/o these char's?
posted by yazi at 9:31 AM on July 26, 2009

Ah, okay. Sounds like you've got a font question and not a character encoding question after all. :)

I'm afraid I can't help you much with the pro fonts. I suspect, though, that if you're looking at sinking that much money on a font, whoever you're buying it from would be happy to give you some help over the phone. You might call up Adobe, say, and ask what professional fonts they've got that support the characters you need.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:57 PM on July 26, 2009

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